Learn all about our fun, community project – and how we’re hoping to tell the world that, for us, crochet is about more than just yarn and hooks
With issue 5 of Crochet Now magazine, you’ll find a little book all about our new project – The Big Mandala Swap – inside, you’ll not only find some gorgeous patterns like those pictured, but also our idea for a collaborative community project to make and meet other crocheters.
Make a mandala, send it in to us, we’ll swap it with another crocheter, and you’ll make a new connection in the crafty community – simple!
However, there’s a little bit more to the project than just that. Mental health is a huge talking point among crocheters online at present and some of our readers have told us all about the ways crochet helps with their own health and wellbeing.
Mental health charities have shown the world just how important talking to other people about these issues can be and we think this project is perfect for opening up a dialogue around talking about yourself, your life and how crochet fits into it. That’s why Crochet Now is partnering up with Rethink Mental Illness to raise awareness of mental health issues around this project too. You can read a bit about them in the mandala book, as well as some crocheters and designers who have used crochet as a coping mechanism in hard times throughout their life.
After all, the yarn-loving community is a place many of us have found solace in the past, so another goal of this project is to champion the hubs of our communities – the local yarn shops. We’ve teamed up with yarn shops around the country to set up points where you can deliver your mandala package (which we’ll collect at a later date), as well as encouraging them to hold workshops and group sessions to get you talking more to likeminded people and help these micro-communities continue to serve us, not just with our yarn needs, but also support and help in tackling our next project.
If you have a story to tell about how crochet has helped your life, now’s the time to tell it. Write it in a letter to your swap partner, send it in to the editor at email@example.com or post it online, tagging us as well as the #thebigmandalaswap hashtag.
How to take part
To take part in The Big Mandala Swap, you will be required to make a mandala of around 20cm diameter or larger, parcel it up and send it to the address below before 1st January 2017:
The Big Mandala Swap
Crochet Now, Practical Publishing
Suite G2 St Christopher House,
217 Wellington Road South,
Stockport SK2 6NG
Alternatively, you can drop off your sealed envelope at any participating yarn shop listed here – these will be collected free of charge and returned to the shop, ready for you to pick up again a few weeks after the closing date. If you choose to do this, you may want to add your phone number to your stamped self-addressed envelope so that the shop can let you know once your package has arrived.
Inside the envelope, you should also include a written letter – by hand or by computer if handwriting is not possible – telling your eventual recipient a little about your life and their crocheting, as well as a stamped self-addressed envelope, so that your partner’s mandala can be sent to you. You may also want to share contact details, such as address, email address or social media handles if you’d be happy to talk to your partner once you’ve received your mandala.
You can buy paper or digital copies of Crochet Now issue 5 from www.moremags.com